If a new family member is moving in soon, there are plenty of considerations to make regarding purchases.
See here when you should choose a harness and collar for your four-legged friend.
Overview of collars and harnesses
In the past, it was most normal to equip your dog with a collar, on which a line could be attached in connection with walks. Today, both harnesses and collars are used, of which there is a sea of different ones that you can choose from.
That can make it a bit confusing; because what is best for your particular dog? Here you get an overview of the different types and a call for what you should choose - and what you should avoid.
Types of necklaces
Overall, there are five different types of collars:
- Fixed collars
- Choker collar
- Semi choke collar
- Shock collar (illegal in Denmark)
- Spike collars (not all are legal in Denmark)
Fixed collars: The fixed collars are the most normal in Denmark. They close like a belt strap and are available in different sizes, materials and thicknesses, which can be chosen depending on the breed and age of the dog. The larger the dog, the wider the collar should be.
The collar does not tighten when the line is pulled, and a mandatory dog tag can typically be applied.
Choke collar: Large dog breeds that tend to pull on the leash are often fitted with a choke collar that tightens around the neck like a chokehold if the dog pulls.
A choke collar can cause damage to the neck and cut off the blood supply, which is why they are typically not recommended by dog experts. However, they are legal in Denmark.
But if you choose a choke collar with large links, you can use it as a fixed collar. This can be done by putting the carabiner through the large outer ring, pulling it back to the size you want, and then putting the carabiner through the collar itself. Some dog owners prefer this solution when, for example, dog training, as the collar cannot give way in this way, has a heaviness and rattles if you use "whimsy training"
Semi-choke collar: A dog that pulls a lot will have less effect from a semi-choke collar than a regular choke collar, the dog will still be inhibited by pulling, but will not have the same risk of injury as the collar tightens, but only to a certain extent.
Shock collar: Shock collar provides shock as needed via, for example, remote control. The collar is not legal in Denmark.
Spike collars: Spike collars are legal in Denmark as long as the spikes are under 8 mm. Typically, spiked collars are heavy, and it should be taken into account that it can hamper the dog and cause neck and back injuries if the collar is too heavy. We do not recommend this type of collar.
Types of braces
As with the collars, there is a large selection of harnesses for dogs. Overall, the many types of braces can be divided into four categories:
- H harnesses
- Y harnesses
- Walk-nice braces
- Pull harnesses
H-harnesses: As the name suggests, this is an H-shaped harness that is fastened in front and behind the front legs. If the string is pulled, the load is distributed evenly over the chest and front legs. This type of harness has the least possible strain on the dog's joints, and is therefore always recommended for puppies.
Y-belts: As the name suggests, this is a Y-shaped belt, which is a simplified version of the H-belt.
Here, the strain from pulling will primarily be on the chest. The harness is easier to put on and is typically recommended for adult dogs that have learned to walk relatively well.
"Walk nicely harnesses": This is a harness with the purpose of teaching the dog to walk nicely - this is done by being slowed down in its momentum. This harness is only recommended for temporary use as an aid in training "walk nicely"
Pulling harnesses: This type of harness is for working dogs that have to pull a cart or sled, e.g. sled dogs.
The harness is not suitable for everyday use, but is the best type of harness for dogs used for pulling.
Muzzle braces: there are 2 types. One type of harness is put on the dog's muzzle, so you can control your dog like you control a horse, that is, you turn the dog's head, instead of pulling it back = the dog cannot pull. The second type slows down the dog by pulling the dog's muzzle down towards the chest.
What should you choose?
In Denmark, it is a legal requirement for dogs to wear a dog tag (with the owner's name & address), and therefore it may be a good idea for the dog to get a fixed collar with a dog tag that it can wear at all times.
When walking, it is recommended to change to a harness - also with a dog tag - so that the neck and neck are under as little strain as possible.
An H-harness for puppies and dogs that have not yet learned to walk properly, and possibly a Y-harness for dogs that have already learned to walk nicely on a leash.
If the dog walks really nicely on a leash without pulling, and the dog does not run away, you can easily dispense with the harness and use a line that is applied directly to the collar.
When choosing both a collar and a harness, the starting point must be the dog. Look at breed, age, size and robustness. Avoid collars that are both too thick and too thin. The thick collars are heavy and can put unnecessary strain on the necks of especially small dogs, while the particularly thin collars can get stuck between the neck vertebrae, which can be very painful.
Replace the harness and collar as the dog grows, so that your dog always has a harness and collar that fits the size.
A collar that is too small and a harness that is too small can snag and tear and be very uncomfortable to wear, while a collar that is too large and a harness that is too large will not have the desired effect and will be easy for the dog to wriggle out of.